September 4, 1990 |
Ramahah Kon Selvi Mariapran stood yesterday clutching a half-empty bottle of water and wiping the tears from her dusty face. Her eyes were red and frightened. Her stomach bulged under a brown silk sari. Mariapran, nine months pregnant, had just arrived at Shaalan Two, a sprawling, squalid camp of makeshift tents sheltering more than 35,000 people under the broiling desert sun about 20 miles from the Iraqi border. She had thought she was heading to India from Kuwait, only to find that she was forced to stop here - in a desolate, overcrowded settlement short of food, and with no immediate way out. "Please, can you help me?"
April 6, 1999 |
Maybe it was the footage of a crying child looking lost and frail among the mass of hungry refugees. Or the vivid description of their new homes, sheets of plastic haphazardly spread across soggy fields where human waste is squashed into the mud. Whatever the jolt, people in Philadelphia and elsewhere across the country have in the last few days started to reach out to help the hordes of ethnic Albanians fleeing Kosovo. Americans still may barely be able to pronounce the name of this war-torn province of Serbia, but it doesn't seem to matter any more.
February 16, 1998 |
From the ash of her bombed home, the bent woman lifted the only thing she has recovered from the time before the war: a porcelain tea cup trimmed in gold and speckled with tiny moons. The charred cup carried memories of her "fairy tale" house of lace and sunlight; of her husband, who never heard the mortar shell whistling in the night; of the bullet that pierced her grandson's lung; of the soldiers who tore off her jewelry; and of the fire, that endless sweep of flame. Ajva Taslaman doesn't want to cry. But she does.
February 16, 1987 |
Hundreds of hungry women and children yesterday streamed out of the Rashidiyeh Palestinian refugee camp near Tyre to buy food after Shiite Muslims eased a 4 1/2-month-long siege. The Amal militia allowed the Palestinians out of the seaside shantytown near the port city south of Beirut at 7 a.m., reporters said in telephoned dispatches. A similar, though smaller, evacuation at the Bourj el-Barajneh Palestinian camp in Beirut was followed by a fierce battle between Amal and Palestinian fighters, in which at least one Palestinian died, police said.
October 27, 1990 |
Evelyn M. Hidalgo, who was accused of swindling a social service agency for refugees out of $38,000, dropped to her knees in tears yesterday after a Common Pleas Court judge found her not guilty. Hidalgo, a one-time treasurer of Lucien Blackwell's campaign for City Council and member of the Mayor's Commission for Women, had been charged with 21 counts of theft and forgery. Each count carried a maximum of seven years in jail. "It's been one and a half years of hardship," said Hidalgo, 43, a Filipino immigrant, of her ordeal since being arrested in May 1989.
July 9, 1992 |
After almost six years in exile, living in Delaware County as refugees from the civil war in El Salvador, Luis and Sonia Ramos and their three children are finally going . . . home? Home is certainly what Luis and Sonia call the town of Apopa, which they fled in 1986, fearing right-wing death threats. Apopa is where Luis and Sonia, both 38, spent most of their adult lives. The Ramoses were union activists. They were forced to leave their home and their jobs as textile workers, forced to leave their children behind with relatives to come to the United States, where they were held as illegal immigrants when they crossed the Mexican border seeking asylum.
June 20, 2014 |
SITTING IN HIS little souvenir shop on 3rd Street between Market and Chestnut in Old City, Selvadurai Pathmathasan said he's thankful that his "dream business" has stayed afloat. The Sri Lanka native known to customers as Bob, 42, came to this country 15 years ago (first living in New York, then Wilmington, Del., and now Philadelphia). While in the U.S., he was granted asylum based on his being part of the ethnic-minority Tamils, who faced persecution and violence in Sri Lanka, he said.
August 10, 1989 |
A woman whose job it was to help refugees was held for trial yesterday on charges of stealing about $35,000 meant for them. Evelyn M. Hidalgo, 41, former executive director of the Philadelphia Refugee Service Center, on Sansom Street near 40th, was held for trial by Municipal Judge Louis G.F. Retacco on charges of theft by deception and 22 counts of forgery. "Hidalgo exhibited a callous disregard for the needs of the refugees she was enlisted to protect," said District Attorney Ronald D. Castille.
August 15, 1995 |
Today the 250,000 refugees flooding into Serbia are a humanitarian disaster, but tomorrow they may become the fuse of the next political disaster. Unless the United States and other members of the international community send large amounts of humanitarian aid into Serbia, extremists could use these refugees to ignite the next and probably bloodiest phase of war: a civil war in reduced Yugoslavia itself and/or a new war between Serbia and Croatia. The Croatian offensive against the Serbian-held and Serbian-populated area of southern Croatia known as Krajina won back territory for Croatia, but in the process it forced nearly the entire population on the road to Serbia.
May 18, 1989 |
The politically active director of a West Philadelphia refugee assistance program was arrested yesterday and charged with stealing more than $25,000 in public and private donations intended to help refugees adjust to life in the United States. Evelyn M. Hidalgo, director of the Philadelphia Refugee Service Center, was charged with theft and 10 counts of forgery. She is accused of falsifying center records and fabricating a grant program, enabling her to pocket money contributed to the agency by City Council and the Episcopal Service Center, authorities said.